Researching Your Ancestors in Surrey

Photograph of Jane LewisHello, and welcome to the Seeking Surrey’s Ancestors Family History Blog.

My name is Jane Lewis and I am a qualified genealogist working at Surrey History Centre, the county archive and local studies library for Surrey. With thousands of enquiries and visitors every year, we can advise and assist with all aspects of family history and we encourage people to visit and share our wonderful collections. I love to teach family history and though my workshops I’ve met some fascinating people over the years as we take our ancestral journeys together.

The great thing about my job is that I get to learn something new about family history every day. Everyone who visits or writes to the History Centre has a unique and special story to tell. As no two stories are ever the same, it opens my eyes to the infinite variety of sources and resources we can explore as genealogists. Many of these sources are not unique to any one particular record office or local studies centre and, to this end, I hope that everyone can take some inspiration from the ideas, news, tips and techniques that I want to share.

Seeking Surrey’s Ancestors has been live for some time and now with the help of our friends at Exploring Surrey’s Past, we can reach out to family historians from all over the world and invite them to walk with us in our ancestors’ footprints.

The aim of this blog is not only to explore some of the basic sources that provide the building blocks of our family history research (and hopefully share some tips and techniques on researching them) but also to suggest sources and resources that are perhaps less well known or under-utilised. If I find any nice juicy morsels of family history news or discover books or articles that I really enjoy, I will be happy to share them with you and of course, I would be delighted to hear about any wonderful websites or great sources that you come across.

Family History research should, above all things, be fun. It is by its very nature a collaborative process and sharing information provides us with so many new avenues to explore.

So join me as we go Seeking Surrey’s Ancestors together!

Read my blog about researching LGBTQ+ lives for a family tree.

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3 thoughts on “Researching Your Ancestors in Surrey”

  1. Lucille Hartshorne says:

    Hello Jane, My Grandfather Henry Collins was born in Farnham, Surrey on 20/12/1872 his parents were William John Collins born 12/03/1834 and Lucy Collins (nee Wilkinson) 1834. Both his parents were also born in Farnham, Surrey. My Grandfather was the youngest of eight children. They moved to New Zealand, I think when my Grandfather was two years of age. I’m very interested to know if I would still have relatives living in Farnham, Surrey. I was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Lucille Hartshorne says:

    Hello Jane,
    As you will see from my above email I last contacted you in October of last year. Unfortunately I did not receive a reply. I was requiring information regarding my Grandfather Harry (Henry) Collins born Farnham, Surrey, 20/12/1872 and the Collins family. I have also contacted GRO for his birth certificate but unfortunately they sent me the wrong birth certificate and I’m in the process of correcting their mistake. Do you know of any persons living in Farnham, Surrey with the surname Collins? I would be most interested in making contact.

    1. Jane Lewis says:

      Hi Lucille. I’m so sorry you didn’t receive my email last October. Not sure what went wrong there. However, I’m re-sending it today although I notice there is a different email so I’ll send it there instead.

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